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The deeper you look, the even more you discover!

Big news: over one million historical images, texts, recordings, and other primary resources are now available in the statewide digital resource aggregation represented by Calisphere, and soon in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)! This burgeoning collection contains unique objects from more than 200 libraries, archives, and museums throughout California. At its current rate of growth, it will shortly be one of the largest subsets of DPLA’s national-level aggregation, offering students, researchers, and the general public increasingly comprehensive access to the digitized treasures and special collections of the state of California.

The Center for Sacramento History Photo Collection takes the honor for pushing us over the one million mark. As this image reveals ("Immigrant Raid Protest", 5/6/1982), this collection provides significant historical context for some of the most pressing issues facing our state and our nation today.

Immigrant raid protest. 05/06/1982. From Center for Sacramento History Photo Collection

The Center for Sacramento History Photo Collection also represents another milestone: our first foray into harvesting from PastPerfect, a collection management software popular with a number of historical societies, museums, and public libraries. Calisphere is one of the initial users of PastPerfect’s new export tool, paving the way for other PastPerfect implementers to contribute to Calisphere and increase the discoverability of their collections.

These accomplishments were made possible by a multi-year grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services funds under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Administered in California by the State Librarian, this financial support has enabled us to explore and quickly harvest new digital collections from across the state.

Looking Ahead

We've made great progress in building a comprehensive statewide research resource, but many libraries, archives, and museums still cannot participate due to capacity constraints in building and managing their digital collections. This year, with Knight Foundation funding administered by DPLA, we will begin to tackle these barriers by forming a collaborative statewide service network. CDL will function as the DPLA Service Hub for the network. Once launched, the network will provide cultural heritage organizations throughout the state with services supporting the broader lifecycle of building and managing digital collections, complementing other existing statewide-level grant programs and initiatives. Stay tuned for further developments!

Interested in Gaining More Exposure for Your Collections?

Does your organization have digital collections not yet discoverable through Calisphere and the DPLA? Let us know! Our mission is to help institutions of all sizes and technical capacity contribute their materials and, thus, increase visibility for their treasured collections.


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